… life in a city in the great country of Goredd? Rachel Hartman’s novel, Seraphina, follows the title character as she struggles with identity and prejudice in an alternate Middle Ages. The kingdom of Goredd has had an uneasy peace with dragons for nearly forty years. The dragons can take human form, but friendship between the two races is viewed with suspicion, and relationships are outlawed by both sides. Despite this, Seraphina is the daughter of a human father and a dragon mother. If anyone outside of her immediate family learned this, she would certainly be exiled, and she would probably be killed. Unfortunately, exposing herself may be the only way to prevent the outbreak of a new war.
Ms Hartman infuses her story with an incredible amount of detail, from the many saints who influence everyday life in Goredd to the austere habits of dragons. Seraphina’s story is much more serious than that of Amy Unbounded, a graphic novel set in the same world. However, it still has points of wry humor and whimsy. The two stories also share an elegance of storytelling, with a wide variety of characters who drift apart and then back together.
Reviewed by Fran (staff)